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Vladimir Kramnik vs Rafael Vaganian
Horgen (1995), Horgen SUI, rd 10, Oct-31
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian. Andersson Variation (E12)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-06-05  Troewa: This is a noteworthy game. Kramnik and Vaganian leave theory within the first 10 moves and produce a game that contains some interesting positional ideas.

<5...Ne4> Vaganian already plays a fairly uncommon move in this kind of position.

<8...d5> I could only find 2 other games where this position was reached.

Romanishin vs Portisch, 1983

And a game between Wegner and Welin which isn't in this database.

<9.Bxe4> White's 9th move in the current game appears to be a novelty. In the other games White tried 9.Qc2 and 9.0-0. Those games ended in a draw and a loss, respectively.

<10...f5> Black tries to place his pawns on light squares to obtain a 'good' bishop, while giving White a pretty bad one in the process.

<14...0-0> White's position seems nothing to be too thrilled about. His knight isn't positioned well and his bishop has no scope and no development. Black seems to have more going for him.

<15.c5!> Kramnik shows some great judgement. With this excellent positional pawn sacrifice he gets space, tempi and -most importantly- rapid development of his pieces to good squares.

<22...Qe7> White is compensated for the loss of his pawn by a bishop with great scope, a nicely placed knight, rooks on open files and the fact that the development of Black's Queenside is poor.

<24.a4?!> This doesn't seem to be the best move. Kramnik may have wanted to create a dual threat of Ba3 and a further advance of the a-pawn. Black's move in the game pretty much puts a stop to both plans (and wasn't really hard to spot).

Better moves for White may have been:

24.Nxb6 axb6 25. Qxb6 just simply taking back the pawn with a nice position to boot.

Fritz finds something even better:
24.Nxb6 axb6 25. Be5! with threats of Rc7

<27.Qb6> Black is still a doubled pawn up, but still has problems with his development on the Queenside. White has nice active play but not really a lethal attack that would lead to heavy material gain. The position is fairly equal.

<27...Ra7? 28.Nd6 Rd7?> These two consecutively played bad moves by Black burn down his position completely. On the 27th move Black should have stopped the invasion of the white knight on the d6 square, so 27...Rc8 might have been good. On the 28th move Black just oversees a tactical shot by White that wins the game.

<29.Rc8!> Kramnik finds the winning move. All of a sudden the tactical threats are too great to cope with for Black. The main source of his problems is the knight on b8, which hasn't moved for the entire game. The knight is now under a double attack which can't be averted without creating other horrible weaknesses. Because of this the rest is trivial.

Feb-18-11  KingG: Great game, featuring a nice positional pawn sacrifice. Another good game in this variation of the Queen's Indian, which also contains a nice positional pawn sacrifice, is Kasparov vs Ulf Andersson, 1981.
Feb-08-12  LoveThatJoker: What a tremendous game from Kramnik!

"Rafael: Shell-Shocked and Shredded"


Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black can improve in the opening with 12...Nbd7 13. 0-0 exf3 14. Nxf3 0-0 = (-0.14 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 8).

If 12...Nbd7 13. fxe4?, then 14. Qh4+ ∓ (-0.78 @ 26 ply, Stockfish 8) is good for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Correction: If 12...Nbd7 13. fxe4?, then 13...Qh4+ ∓ (-0.78 @ 26 ply, Stockfish 8) is good for Black.
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